A Beautiful Goddess and a Dirty Spoon:
Even the remains of breakfast—egg shells, tangerine peels, a dirty dish and spoon—are blessings on me.
A blessing: the remains of this meal flooded by sunlight pleases my eyes.
A blessing: to eat today and nourish my body is beautiful—such a gift!
For me, to be a kitchen witch means to acknowledge and appreciate the immensity of the harvests given me by my beautiful Goddess and to gift others in kind.
Today I will make a donation to feed a hungry child.
A blessing: to have some money to help someone in one of the most important ways—food.
To be able to give is such a gift. Were I to instead view giving as magnanimous on my part, it would imply that I was bending down from on high to help someone less worthy. I’d be denying who they are by turning them into a character in a story I’d written to pump up my ego. Instead, we are all in this together. Farming communities have long understood that it is by having each others’ backs that we all survive and thrive. It is a lie perpetuated by the American upper class that the best way to “make it” is on our own, climbing over the backs of others.
Getting to give is a gift. It is part of the cycle of life, a gate into the sacred circle, a consecration of the four directions, and one of the great mysteries. Giving is a chance to be a human being—such a gift! Giving is a chance to be with another human being (even if you never meet them because you’re donating to an organization that serves them)—such a gift!
Add Magical Healing to Medicinal Herbs
Herbs have physical properties that heal and strengthen one’s body. Herbs also have psychic properties that heal and strengthen one’s spirit and physical being, if given a chance. Here’s how to access that magical healing:
When your cup of tea is ready to drink, simply say, “May this tea Mother Earth has given me in Her wisdom and generosity heal and strengthen my body and spirit.”
Then just drink your tea!
It’s that simple! Saying the words I suggested gives the magical attributes of the herb—or herbs—in your cup a chance to emerge. And the words’ grateful acknowledgment of Mother Earth’s gift opened you to receiving the herb’s magical healing and empowerment. You don’t have to get fancy about it by adding visualization or any other technique. Just say the words.
(If you want to add magical techniques, though, go ahead. I love magical techniques and am committed to teaching them. But the point of this post is a quick enchantment anyone can easily fit into their day. Even advanced practitioners can add more magic to their lives if they embrace some simple spells. In fact, I’m committed to teaching both easy and advanced magic. They both have their place.)
Never use magic in place of proper medical care by a trained, professional physician. Magic is a powerful addition, not a replacement.
And remember, when it comes to herbs’ physical properties: just because herbs are natural doesn’t mean they’re all harmless. And what’s a good medicinal herb for one person can be really harmful for another. Know your herbs—research an herb using several sources. There are many medical conditions and other circumstances—and even many herbs—that require you consult with a professional herbalist instead of just deciding what herbs to use yourself.
Enjoy the spell! This magic in a teacup is simple kitchen magic anyone can use, whether a witch or not.
If I’m afraid of making mistakes, I will be afraid all day every day.
But I need help to not be afraid. When I receive Divine help, my fear dissipates. Here is my prayer for help:
May I have the highest ideal possible and do everything within my power to achieve it. May I realize that even my best attempts are riddled with imperfections.
May I remember mistakes are part of doing anything, and thus fearlessly reach for the stars.
May I feel safe knowing whatever problems my errors cause are nothing compared to the Goddess’ power as She carries me unceasingly toward beauty and happiness. May I fearlessly trust She is doing this even when I cannot see it.
May I love myself exactly as I am and celebrate my mistakes as part of my attempts to live fully and serve the Goddess well.
Here’s an example. I use vinegar to keep ants from my kitchen—it works! I mix white vinegar and water, roughly half and half. In a 25 oz bottle, I’d add about eight drops of essential oils that thwart ants. Here are a few: tea tree, peppermint, and clove. If you don’t like those, use a search engine to find others.
Be careful using essential oils: they’re very concentrated so can burn you if they get on your skin; and they’re not for internal use.
Twice a week during warm weather, I wipe the vinegar solution along the ant trail from outside into my kitchen. Otherwise I’d have an ant-filled kitchen.
Channeling a spell to get rid of worries and anxiety, it occurred to me that worries are like ants:
Ants invade the home like worries invade the mind. And the way ants can invade everything in your cupboard, anxiety can invade every part of your life.
So I channeled the following spell to help get rid of worries, large and small. There are two versions of the spell. The first can be used if you have an ant problem in your home. The other one can be used independently of that.
I believe the properties an object has on the mundane plane often translate into otherworldly properties. This provides an opportunity, when doing a chore, to apply the chore’s tools to magical purposes. Tea tree not only deters ants, it is a natural cleaner. For example, it is somewhat antibacterial. So I figure it must also be a cleanser on the psychic plane. That would help the spell cleanse away anxiety. Peppermint is an uplifting scent, so probably has the energetic ability to lift the spirit magically, even if you can’t smell it in the vinegar. The same goes for clove’s uplifting scent. So I think those two essential oils would be good in a spell to relieve anxiety.
As you start to wipe the vinegar solution along the ant trail, say this chant once:
Ants and worry, go away.
This is not your place or day.
No anxiety need be here.
Heart and home be free and clear
to only hold what I hold dear.
Next, while you continue applying the vinegar mix, relax your feet, then your legs, then pelvic girdle, then each of the following one at a time: torso, shoulder girdle, arms, hands, neck, and head. You only need to spend a few moments on each part of your body.
Consciously relaxing the body not only helps stop anxiety but also helps the magic of the spell flow. No need to worry if you’re not good at relaxing. The attempt is what matters.
When you’re done applying the vinegar solution and following the above magical instructions, say, “So mote it be!”
You can repeat this spell whenever you want.
Antlike worries, go away.
This is not your place or day.
No anxiety need be here.
Heart and home be free and clear
to only hold what I hold dear.
When done, say, “So mote it be!”
You can repeat this version whenever you want.
Baba Yaga’s Apprentice:
A Faerie Tale Ritual
If ever we needed ways to stay focused and whole, and experience some gentleness, this is the time.
Baba Yaga’s Apprentice is my gentle enchantment that creates focus and wholeness. I believe this magic is all the more powerful and effective for its gentleness.
This storybook is for grown-ups . . . but the sort of adults who remain, or want to remain, childlike at heart.
This book’s format: PDF.
The tale is my revisioning of Baba Yaga folklore.
As the book’s story proceeds, a ritual simultaneously unfolds for the reader.
Baba Yaga’s Apprentice is fun, easy reading.
Along with being a Faerie tale and a gentle ritual, this book is also a work of art for you. Trying to evoke the embellishments in old Faerie tale books and add a layer of enchantment to the magical foundation I’d spun with the text, I ornamented every page with my original full color art. Most of the art is my spin on Poland’s folk art.
I have felt immense mojo on the project; I wanted this spell to happen so much.
From the preface:
“The spell is very easy to do. You don’t even have to “do” it. The sheer reading of the Faerie tale to oneself, just for fun, even silently, and enjoying my paintings, is all it takes for the spell to work.”
“The storybook’s magical current helps you:
* Focus on what’s important to you.
* Follow through on it.
* Stay centered in your power and your love.
* Protect your dear heart from being hurt or blocked.
* Feed your witchy soul.
“The ritual also supports you if you are introverted, empathic, exceptionally magical, or sensitive psychically.
“And when you are fearful or nervous, this is a good tale for you.”
The book is 7000 words and 46 pages.
This volume was created with my sincerest hope that the gentle love and hope with which the Muse infused the pages will sustain and empower you … over and over.
Available only from the author.
Move on! I do not have time to hate you.
I’m too busy loving myself.
I’m too busy loving the stars
and feeling them love me back.
I’m too busy loving people and all my other relations
by fighting the good fight for them.
My love does not make me a doormat.
Cross me or mine, and I will go into battle with you.
I am lethal as a warrior.
But I will not dwell on hate:
any moment I might spend hating you
is too precious to waste that way
because I require every single moment
to love myself and all my relations;
I need every bit of love possible,
and all my relations need every bit of love I can give.
So move on, you will not snare me
in your ugly world by making me dwell in anger,
nor can you distract me from
the wonderful business of love.
The days from October 23 to November 21 are governed by the astrological sign of Scorpio, making Scorpionic powers easily accessed throughout that period. Here are some ways to draw on that energy to improve your life.
The Phoenix, symbol of rebirth, also represents Scorpio, which is the sign of death coupled with regeneration. I think that’s one reason many people find fall weather so energizing and renewing.
However, renewal usually requires effort. We might be loath to do that work if we lose hope that positive change is possible. A personal, joyous, spectacular Phoenix rebirth I had a few years back proved to me we can reach happiness and victory if we grow from rough times.
I mean, I had an immense financial, emotional, and physical renewal after a nightmarish time. If you need belief that change for the better is possible, check out my post about that rebirth, my friend: http://stardrenched.com/2014/02/05/phoenix-resurrection/ (I did both its Phoenix paintings.)
Here’s yet another way to build hope. Scorpios tend to go through many renewals in their lifetimes. That Scorpionic sense of renewal flows through the natural world strongly right now so, if you want to trust renewal is possible, take a walk in the fall weather; it might inspire you.
Scorpio deals with deeply hidden parts of life and self. Scorpios are often intuitive, insightful, and good spiritual healers. (So no surprise that this is considered a witchy time of year.) Part of being empowered by this scorpionic time, at least for me, is affirming and celebrating my intuition, psychic abilities, and spiritual healing. These traits are often invalidated in this culture. So it’s good to affirm and celebrate them now and again.
William Blake said, “If the Sun and Moon should doubt, they would immediately go out.” So instead of doubting your magic, intuitiveness, and other hidden wonders, try the following celebration. It only takes a minute or two: Notice the vigor of fall and the peacefully darkening weather. You might feel how they reflect and affirm the witch in you. Whether you feel that or not, say the following affirmation a few times: “Blessed be the hidden beauty in me and my efforts to see it.” Yep, it’s a simple ritual, and it works.
Preparing for the upcoming Pagan harvest festival Samhain, I’m dwelling on how wonderfully suitable Scorpio themes are for Samhain rites. So during a ritual I’m creating to celebrate a Faerie Samhain, I will lead attendees through a process to draw on Scorpionic energy to empower themselves.
Scorpios like to indulge (I should know, I’m a triple-Scorpio.) Much as I like the ideas I’ve offered in this post, I want to take the Scorpio energy a lot further during the Samhain rite, full-tilt celebrating our beautiful, beautiful witchiness and the dazzling magic that surrounds us every day.
You’re invited to attend. The ritual is a free event, via group phone call, and is open to all. My enewsletter will have full details. Subscribe by clicking here: http://www.well.com/user/zthirdrd/InfoForm.htm
This is excerpted from the two-volume Third Road Book of Shadows, available here: http://stardrenched.com/2016/10/01/book-of-shadows/
This subtle current dances about me all day, even in my sleeping hours, empowering me and making me whole. It heals me, delights me, and celebrates me. It relieves me of my pains, doubts, and flaws. It removes obstacles.
Oppressors deny magic, lest we use its ever available power to live wild and free, with direct access to Deity and the gifts Deity bestows, independent of dour religious institutions and oppressive societal hierarchies.
But magic is real and a Goddess-given right. I would go further to say magic is a living aspect of my Goddess. No one will rob me of my Goddess and Her power. I live in magic.
In the two-volume Third Road Book of Shadows set, the above prose-poem is ornamented with more detailed art than I could post here if I wanted this webpage to load in less than a decade.
But the graphic at the top of this post is part of the art in question. And I made the little graphic at the side especially for this post, because I love ya!
Did you enjoy the post? Get the book set here, available only from the author: http://stardrenched.com/2016/10/01/book-of-shadows/
My beloved witch,
The Goddess blesses your rituals. I wrote/painted the above picture-poem as the third and last meme in my mini-series about the sacredness and beauty of witchcraft.
(All three memes blurred a bit, because I shrunk the files so their webpages would appear quickly for you.)
I call them poems, though they could be viewed as prose. To me, they’re poems or prose-poems, both in that they are lyric and evoke magic.
I believe one of my jobs as a bard is to evoke magic. I’ve not seen that description of a bard in a historical text, but I know in my bones and past life memories that the Gods choose some bards to create ritual aka bardic poems.
My class lectures are sometimes lyric and other times straightahead prose, but on some level they are still my concept of bardic poetry.
Are you a bard who creates ritual? Or were you chosen to do bardic work other than ritual creation? We all are given such different jobs by the Faerie Queen.
I combine words with art to further the experience. Even when I first started teaching shamanism, class handouts sometimes had my calligraphy and artwork, though they were far more primitive than they are now. But I feel that extra effort added blessings.
I make memes like this not just for my site but also as Book of Shadow pages for myself and students (aka handouts). I’m fascinated with painting borders around my words to add magic for Book of Shadow pages. I even had to paint a border for the newsletter button below this post.
… Oh, if you wonder what the newsletter button has to do with Books of Shadows, bear with my following explanation, since at first it may seem to have no relation to the topic:
Ok, to me a Book of Shadows page points to your day and how you can live it magically. In the same vein, I teach oral tradition—which the written word cannot convey—and you only grasp oral tradition when you use its lessons by living magically in your day. So, in the final analysis, your day is your ultimate Book of Shadows, because it is your life that holds the most magic, not any text. Your life is the real ritual, not the words on any page.
And my newsletter is a doorway into that oral tradition, because it announces upcoming classes. So I can think of one of my newsletter buttons as the front cover to a Book of Shadows. So mote it be.
Since I view life as the ritual, it might seem contradictory that I work hard crafting my words and visually ornamenting them. But I want my pages to be really good pointers to the magic available in the world around us, so they can help me—and hopefully other people—see how to live a day magically. I believe that is why Goddess gave me gifts with words and art. Blessed be.